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MSTC students win national accolades in tree care contest

2:37 PM, Dec. 6, 2013  |  Comments
Bryce Crunkilton took first place on the safety portion of the student competition and won the overall championship for men during the Tree Care Skills Competition Nov. 15 at the Tree Care Industry Expo in Charlotte, N.C.
Bryce Crunkilton took first place on the safety portion of the student competition and won the overall championship for men during the Tree Care Skills Competition Nov. 15 at the Tree Care Industry Expo in Charlotte, N.C.
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A total of 23 Mid-State Technical College students went to the Tree Care Industry Expo in Charlotte, N.C., last month, a huge gathering of tree care vendors, employers, employees and students. About 20 colleges and universities competed in the conference's Nov. 15 Tree Care Skills Competition. For the first time in the college's history, MSTC students took home prizes in the both the men's and women's overall championship.

Bryce Crunkilton took first on the safety portion of the student competition and won the overall championship for men. Kerstyn Perrett also placed first on the work climb component and placed second in the overall championship for women. Participants competed in up to five competitions: work climb, scramble, safety check, throw line and written exam. MSTC students thrived against some of the larger schools in the nation, including BYU, Utah State University, Pennsylvania State University, Michigan State University, Virginia Tech University, Purdue University and the University of Tennessee.

"I am so proud of all the students that went to the expo," said Deb Crunkilton, MSTC urban forestry technician instructor. "I had high expectations, and they exceeded those."

The TCI EXPO, held Nov. 14 to 16, is the world's largest tree care industry trade show and conference. The skills competitions were part of the conference's 17th annual Student Career Days, open to students enrolled in arboriculture, horticulture, forestry and related programs. Students attended a job fair, as well as several casual receptions where they met and networked with potential employers. TCI Expo attendees also had the opportunity to visit about 200 vendors, as well as a tour of the Bartlett Tree Expert research lab and arboretum. Seminar topics ranged from safety and business strategies to workplace dynamics and tree health.

? Men's champion: Bryce Crunkilton took first on the safety portion of the student competition and won the overall championship for men.

? Women's champion: Kerstyn Perrett also placed first on the work climb component and placed second in the overall championship for women.

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